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The Gift of Camp


Summertime is here, and kids across Shelby County are heading to camp. Several are experiencing camp because of Theodora Trezevant Neely. She loved camping and wished every child could have the camp experience. When Neely died in 1961, she left part of her estate to the Community Foundation to be used to provide funding for underserved children to go to camp. That fund is endowed, meaning it will continue to generate the dollars to pay for kids to go to camp forever.

When she passed more than 60 years ago, she could have not foreseen how her legacy would expand to include children with hemophilia or for kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But her initial vision to provide access has grown to include grants to organizations like the Tennessee Hemophilia & Bleeding Disorders Foundation and The ARC of the Mid-South, in addition to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and the Girl Scouts.

We estimate the Neely fund has sent 11,000 kids who may not otherwise have had access to camp. That is the power of endowment.